This should be one of those FAQ’s, (Frequently Asked Questions). It seems nearly everyone wants to write a book and many ask this precise question.. They want a book they can hold in their hands, feel its texture and its warmth, see their own name on the spine and on the cover, then open it and see their own words lying beautifully across the page. They visualize this book sitting proudly on their desk or shelf, and they can occasionally glance up and get that rush of “I have done it. I have written a book. I have a legacy that will be here when I am gone.”

            This feeling is amplified when another reads it and raves about how great it is. It is like having someone tell you that your baby is beautiful. It is your baby.

            If you don’t have time to write it, or don’t feel up to it, but have a story that you really want told, all is not lost. A Ghostwriter can do it for you, and you will get the same feeling of pride.

            I will ask the prospective client  what the book or the project  is to be about. Many times, there will be a small smile and I hear: “I want to write a book about my life.”I want to know the steps to writing a book.”  Or I will hear, I have to tell about what happened in Vietnam, or I have a secret that will make any man into a lover that women can’t resist. (Would you buy that book?) I hear many things.

            The first question I am usually asked is about ghostwriting fees.

            I first have to tell about the writing process so the client will understand what I do. He or she may think I just sit down and write what they want. Like the tip of an iceberg, writing is sitting on a mountain of hard, time consuming work, research, outlining, writing, editing, rewriting. When Hemingway was asked why did he have to rewrite A Moveable Feast 16 times, he said, “getting the words right.” Getting the words right to me is a sacred duty. You do not skimp or cheat on art. I am an artist with words, and I sell them to you, cheap.

            I give a free hour consultation during which I give this as an explanation of my function, and I find out what your project is about. I must find out if he or she  can pay, and if there is a budget.

            When I get my mind around what you want to create, and what the valuable final product is, and your ideal scene, then I can give a better estimate of the expected cost. The fee can be either by the word or by a total project fee. I will not commit in this blog to any fee on any project, for every job sits on its own bottom and is as individual as the client is different. I will say, however, that my minimum word cost is .50 cents a word, as rock bottom minimum, but the project may run more, for I will have to estimate how much time it will take to do the initial research, the outline, the rough draft, the middle and then the final draft. It takes at least three drafts for the simplest project.

            For large projects, like novels, payment is broken up into three or four equal installments, divided into the number of months required to complete the job. I work day and night, as well as weekends. I am totally into what I do. So sixty or seventy hours a week is a regular work week for me, and yet I am much faster than most ghostwriters. I am also thorough and careful. You will have get the work edited independently by an professional. That is not part of my cost. Editor/proofreaders have nominal fees, but they are necessary. Editing my own work is like a lawyer representing himself—he has a fool for a client.

            So there is the basics on ghostwriting. I welcome any call about any prospective project.

LD Sledge